Flash Briefing: SA rich are getting poorer; gas powerships will be costly; Zim to promote trophy hunting

  • South Africa’s headline consumer price inflation has not risen as quickly as analysts have forecast. rose to 3.2% year-on-year in March from 2.9% in February, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday. On a month-on-month basis, the CPI was flat at 0.7% in March, reports Bloomberg. Core inflation, which excludes prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy, was at 2.5% year-on-year in March, from 2.6% previously. On a month-on-month basis core inflation slowed to 0.5% from 0.6% previously.
  • South Africa is home to over twice as many millionaires (HNWIs) as any other African country. Despite this, the total private wealth held in the country declined by 25% between 2010 and 2020. This is according to the Africa Wealth Report 2021, published on Tuesday by Johannesburg-based wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth together with Mauritius-based AfrAsia Bank. Mauritius is the wealthiest country in Africa, in terms of average wealth per person (wealth per capita). Notably, the World Bank officially classified Mauritius as a high-income country in July 2020, Andrew Amoils. Total wealth held in Africa has fallen by 16% over the past decade (2010 to 2020) when measured in $ terms. Africa’s performance was constrained by poor performance in the three largest African markets, namely: South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria. Angola also performed poorly. Total private wealth held in Africa is expected to rise by 30% over the next 10 years, reaching $2.6trn by 2030. This growth will be driven by strong growth in the billionaire and centi-millionaires segments, especially in fast growing economies such as Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.
  • The government’s decision to include three liquid natural gas powerships from Karpowership SA for emergency power is a mistake which will cost South Africa dearly in the long run, reports MyBroadband.co.za. This is the view of energy expert Chris Yelland, who was speaking to the SABC about the procurement of emergency power by the Department of Energy. Yelland said there is growing opposition to the Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) process and the decisions which arose from this process. Two-thirds of the new emergency risk mitigation power programme – 1,220MW of the 1,845MW – went to a single company, Karpowership SA. This decision is facing severe criticism from energy experts who highlighted problems with powerships, like the lack of local gas resources, high costs, and the negative impact on the environment. To put the cost in perspective, the CSIR estimated that Karpowership SA can get as much as R218bn from the 20-year deal.
  • Zimbabwe plans to sell the right to shoot as many as 500 elephants for as much as $70,000 (about R1m) per animal to help fund the upkeep of its national parks, reports Bloomberg. The hunting season, which takes place over the southern hemisphere winter, will resume this year after the coronavirus pandemic scuppered plans to have elephants shot by foreign tourists in 2020. Zimbabwe has the world’s second-biggest elephant population and neighbouring Botswana has the largest. Both have been criticised by environmental groups for their plans to profit from elephant hunting. Botswana is resuming hunting after a five-year ban. Zambia and Namibia also have substantial elephant populations.

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